Panasonic Corporation execs are planning to launch the company’s autonomous driving system in commercial vehicles by as early as 2022, according to recent reports.
The new self-driving vehicle system will reportedly allow fully autonomous operation at low- and medium-speed ranges — fully autonomous in this case also includes self-valet parking, according to a company spokesperson.
“We know we are behind our rivals right now,” commented Shoichi Goto, the director heading the vision and sensing technologies work at the firm’s automotive R&D division.
“But we have developed key LSI (large-scale integration) chips for advanced image processing and sonar sensing that would give us major advantages, using expertise from television sets and cameras.”
“The new chips need more testing and polishing before the commercial launch of the autonomous driving system, added Goto, previously a TV engineer,” according to Reuters.
“Panasonic has been pushing to expand its range of advanced driving-related products to better compete with top suppliers such as Bosch and Continental AG. The firm has said it plans to nearly double its automotive business revenue to 2.5 trillion yen ($22 billion) by the year to March 2022, from 1.3 trillion yen in the year to March 2017.
“Panasonic established the automotive R&D division in April, transferring about 350 engineers from TV, the company’s mainstay at the time, and other consumer electronics businesses. To bolster its push into the automotive field, Panasonic took control of Spanish auto parts maker Ficosa International SA earlier this year.”
Presuming that Panasonic does meet the 2022 release estimate discussed above, the company won’t have too many competitors to deal with, though the field certainly won’t be empty either.
For more information on the subject, see: Panasonic Planning Tesla Partnership Extension Via Self-Driving Vehicle Components.
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